torstai 11. heinäkuuta 2013


Sauna (a.k.a Filth / Evil Rising. Evil Rising is so bad name for this, but Filth is actually quite fitting) is a Finnish horror film from 2008, very symbolic, and very gripping. It's not actually "surprisingly" complex as it's kind of hard from start to finish.

Surprisingly Complex: Sauna

I haven't read too much of what people see in this movie, but I have some points I want to make. If you haven't seen the movie, two things: 1) I recommend it. 2) Spoiler alert.

First off, seeing is a major part of this movie. It may sound weird, but I'll explain. One of our two main characters, Erik Spore, can't see well. He is a veteran of the 25-year war between Sweden and Russia, during which he killed 72 people. His eyesight was bad, so our other main character, Knut Spore, brought him glasses.

Glasses make a badass even more badass
It's never said in the movie, but there is an underlying theme. Sin makes us blind. Erik is the physical manifestation of it, where as Erik and Knut both are the spiritual manifestation of it.  Erik has killed 73 people in cold blood, where Knut doomed only one for eternal torment. The blindness is seen about halfway the movie, when Erik asks Knut: "Didn't you see the axe?" and Knut answers: "No." The axe was important, because even though Erik had glasses which helped him see, he couldn't see the reality where the axe did not exist. This incident happened before Knut committed his sin (I think) so his eyes were still clear. Then he left the girl into the cellar to die, also burying his own sin of lust. Then he became blind too to reality. He started to have visions of the girl, covering her face (I will go into that soon), following them to the swamp.

There's also one of the greatest lines I've ever heard in a movie (It may be because it's in my own language), it cannot be translated completely, because Finnish has weird quirks in it. "Darkness doesn't bend. It bends (you)." It sounds silly if said that way, but it was said when Erik was explaining how glasses work. "It bends the light." he says. And the only answer he gets is that. It doesn't mean darkness cannot be won, it means, that those glasses on his head won't help him see in darkness. Where he metaphorically seeing, already is. He thinks he sees, but he only sees the darkness, and as we all know, we don't see in the dark. He's been blinded, made to kill, and it has become his only way of dealing with things. He has killed so much that he starts to see dead people in the water.

Oh Knut what have you done?
Knut is the other side of the story, being a to-be professor who followed his brother when he went to mark the border between Sweden and Russia. He's been blinded by the sin of lusting after (With rape in mind) after a girl, and leaving her to die in the darkness. He starts to have visions of the girl, haunting her, and he always escapes her. Part of his sin is denial. He doesn't believe he has sinned, making him blind too, but in a different sense. His denial and idealistic hope that the mysterious sauna that cleanses you of sin seems like the only choice. He also rips tattooed "75" from his back, which I don't understand. They say it is a symbol of how many people must die, but I don't think so. Why would it be there in the first place? I don't know yet. But anyways, he goes to the sauna to cleanse his sins, but the only thing waiting for him there is the girl, covering her face.

We see people covering their faces a few times during the movie, most noticeable are the cellar-girl and the little girl in the town. The little girl is actually not from the town, she's a spirit, who only those who have sinned can see. There are only three people who she's shown interact with. The brothers, and the old guy who dies in the shack. We can thus say that the old guy had some bones to bury himself. How do I know? Well, they say in one part that one middle-aged woman there is the youngest in the town. That should pretty much say that she's a spirit. She dies in the end, and as she is the spirit, she's not one of those who must die. The only ones who must die are the 73 people of the town and Erik, where as Knut as the killer is the 75th. The Russians were just collateral damage.

Sometimes death is the only redemption
Back to face-covering. Cover your face, what do you see? Nothing, right? Cover your face and you cover yourself from the world, denying the darkness. Because if you gaze into the darkness, the darkness also gazes to you. Covering the face is denying the darkness, which is also given as the Russian guy who receives the torment of the cellar-girl writes that she's not alone in the darkness, there is someone else, and that someone else, is her own darkness. This is also seen as the faceless monster in the end, who I think is speculated to be the Russian gay guy, who lost his face. This is hard to explain, but I think it may have something to have fallen in love with the darkness. Not sure. But the cellar girl may have covered her face in the beginning because she didn't want to see the darkness in Knut, because she had possibly fallen for him? I'm not sure.

So, now to the killcount. 73... 73 people had Erik killed in cold blood during his life. 73rd was the first innocent, and that's why he's haunted. His mind said he had an axe, even though he didn't. He killed an innocent man, and now he must pay. But one is not enough. One bad one taints all the rest. But two bad ones? That taints everyone involved. The 74th was the cellar-girl. The second innocent. The darkness, which actually does not come from the Sauna, but from the inside, makes Knut insane and makes him pay the price of 74 lives and his own. 74 come from the deaths he and his brother have caused, and the 75th comes from Knut trying to deny his sin.

In the end the spirit is killed by the faceless man, and Erik is killed by Knut. Before that, Erik says that he sees well in the sauna even without his glasses. This is because the sauna is a place where sins are washed away. Before he must pay the price, he must be cleansed.


Great horror flick, great symbolism.

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